We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Microsoft locks down OEM licence conditions

Sometimes I wonder if the people who run Microsoft's licensing policy unit (or whatever they call it) actually bother to find out what goes on out there, in real-world computerland. They've recently announced the introduction of a new OEM system builders' license, the terms of which state that an OEM copy of Windows XP may only be sold if preinstalled on a fully-assembled computer system.

Up until 31st August this year it was perfectly okay for vendors to sell OEM versions of Windows XP with what Microsoft called 'non-peripheral' computer components. That meant it was okay to sell OEM software with say, a motherboard, or a hard drive, or even with an IDE cable, but not with a printer.

Hundreds of thousands of home-builders took advantage of this when constructing their machines, but now that's all come to an end.........or has it?

I visited the site of one of the country's biggest online retailers today, and they were happily offering OEM copies of WinXP Professional for around £92. Something's not right, and I'm trying to delve into the why's and the wherefores with Microsoft as we speak.

IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

Hands-on with Sony's latest smartglasses

IDG UK Sites

Apple TV setup advice: Apple TV hacks to help you create the ultimate Apple TV hub in your home